Cobblers boss Wilder accepts O’Toole signing ‘hasn’t worked’

TRANSFER-LISTED - John-Joe O'Toole
TRANSFER-LISTED - John-Joe O'Toole

Cobblers boss Chris Wilder has admitted the signing of John-Joe O’Toole ‘hasn’t worked’ and is why the midfielder has been placed on the transfer list.

O’Toole was signed by Wilder on a three-year deal last summer following a season when he scored 17 goals for Bristol Rovers.

John-Joe didn’t get off to a great start, and it has been a struggle for him to recapture the form that he showed at Bristol Rovers and made us want to sign him.

Cobblers boss Chris Wilder

Hopes were high that he would provide creative flair and goals for the Cobblers, but the player has struggled from the start.

He has scored just twice, and was even sent out on loan to Southend United before Christmas.

And Wilder feels it is time for the player to try and get a fresh start.

“I have said it before, and I would imagine every manager up and down the country has had signings that have just not worked,” said the Cobblers boss.

“John-Joe didn’t get off to a great start, and it has been a struggle for him to recapture the form that he showed at Bristol Rovers and made us want to sign him.

“Sometimes you have to hold your hands up and say a signing hasn’t worked for what might be numerous reasons.

“Sometimes it might be down to a bit of luck, the fact you don’t get off to a good start, the form of the team, the way the team plays, and you can look the different changes in style and formation that we have used since Christmas.

“John-Joe is still contracted to the club, so if he doesn’t go he will come back in, but I think maybe from the player’s point of view and ours it’s a situation where things have not gone as well as we would have liked them to.

“So we cut our losses and we move on.”

And he added: “There were a lot of takers for John-Joe last summer, and we are disappointed it’s not been a success, and I should imagine he is as well.

“He has had a couple of injuries and has just not found the form we signed him on.

“He hasn’t got the goals we thought he’d get, and hasn’t produced on the pitch what we would have expected him to.

“Sometimes a manager can get something more out of a player, and a change of scenery can sometimes spark somebody up, and that’s possibly what John-Joe will be looking for.

“It’s not been a great season for him, and it’s not a been a great season for us in terms of getting the best out of him. That sometimes happens.”